Guyanese awarded for excellence in Barbados sugar industry
Guyana Chronicle
January 11, 2007

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DEPARTING from the more often negative publicity about Guyanese there, a section of the Barbados press has highlighted the achievement a man from Guyana, who was awarded for excellent performance in that island’s sugar industry.

Manager Mr Joel Grant, on December 20, 2006, received, on behalf of Portvale Sugar Factory, the Barbados Agricultural Management Company (BAMC) trophy for excellence in the quality of bulk manufactured last crop season.

The December 21 edition of the ‘Daily Nation’ said the presentation took place against the background of the need for Barbados to recognise that the days of preferential access to markets, other than in Europe, are coming to an end, and move to find the best cane variety for a new-look industry, to sharply increase production and minimise the significant harvest losses.

The Barbados Minister of Agriculture, Senator Erskine Griffith, speaking at the BAMC Christmas dinner, said the major challenge to the industry is coming from the reform of the European Union (EU) sugar regime, including a 35 per cent drop in the guaranteed price of the commodity bought from Barbados and other developing countries, from 2009.

He said the industry has to, among other things, reduce or eliminate losses of 10 tonnes per acre, resulting from mechanical harvesters not being adapted to effectively deal with some cane varieties.

Griffith said Barbados has a plan to have a multi-purpose plant with the capacity to produce 12,000 tones of refined sugar per year, 10,000 tones of “speciality sugar” for export, 5,000 tonnes of the same brand for the local market, 30 megawatts of electricity, 14,000,000 litres of ethanol and 9,000 tonnes of molasses in a restructured programme with an annual saving of US$39M in foreign exchange.